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Kgafela’s ally to replace Davids

Publishing Date : 06 March, 2018


Bakgatla ba Kgafela exiled chief, Kgafela Kgafela II, his deputy Bana Sekai and the royal enclave have given Kgafela’s regiment leader, Moagi Molebatsi blessings to contest Mochudi East constituency under the Botswana National Front (BNF) ticket as the race to replace Isaac Davids takes off.

Davids was stabbed to death by his two herd boys earlier this month. Kgafela’s regiment known as ‘Mangana’ under the stewardship of Molebatsi has been the driving force in advocating for the return of their chief and other community issues including the installation of Sekai as chief last year. Molebatsi, who is a close ally of Kgafela, long informed the royal family of his intentions and they right-away gave him their blessings.

“I have informed Kgosi Sekai and the regiment about my intentions and they agreed and wished me the best of luck. For protocol sake I wouldn’t personally tell Kgabo (Kgafela) about it hence I channelled it through Sekai to tell Kgosi. But for sure he does not have any problem with this - he could have long summoned me if he did,” Molebatsi said in an interview.

Although all concerned stakeholders are nudging him on, they have asked him to not disappear completely from the community and neglect communal works. “There still a lot of pending projects which need to be reported back to Kgosi. He was instrumental in bringing calmness and stability in our area which has been envied by others. Further our chieftainship and government impasse is not yet over and we need people like him to direct all these to their conclusion, so we will need him here and there,” a Mangana royal house source told this paper.

Molebatsi long declared his interest for the constituency when Davids defected to BDP. He then in subsequent meetings with the regiment and the royals informed them about his intentions, and they immediately endorsed the idea. Molebatsi is said to be Kgafela’s blue-eyed boy. Kgafela allegedly trusts him, and he won more affection from the self-exiled leader last year when he lobbied for the installation of Sekai as Bakgatla’s recognized Chief after five years of the tribe not having representation at Ntlo Ya Dikgosi.

According to Molebatsi, Kgafela, naturally a radical person wants change of political leadership in the Kgatleng area. “Mokgatla wants change in our area especially if it is instigated by his regiment because he believes mophato is the driving force of the Kgatleng community,” Molebatsi said. Molebatsi has a long way to go though, as he will have to win the primary elections first before he can proceed to contest the bye-elections, possibly against Mpho Moruakgomo of the BDP.

When contacted for comment, BNF Publicity Secretary Justin Hunyepa would not reveal when the primary elections would be held as well as candidate/s that have shown interest in the constituency. This publication has however been informed that a well-known activist, Obakeng Matlou is likely to take Molebatsi head on at the party’s primary elections.

Molebatsi, it is expected will work closely with the royal house in implementing the reforms that Kgafela has been preaching including land reforms, instilling discipline and other societal ills currently besieging the district. Among those reforms that Kgafela ordered his regiment to implement last year includes returning of floggings in the area to curb illicit behaviour. “Our area is troubled by murder cases and we should fight that with anything at our disposal,” Molebatsi said.

“Re tloo letsa moretlwa Kgabo, (We will flog wrongdoers) but it is not like we are bragging about it. We just want to instil discipline in our tribe of which after some time others will bench mark here,” Molebatsi said. Just like Batlokwa, Bakgatla also want a land quota system in which the indigenous members will be given preferable treatment over ‘aliens’ in land allocation.

While Molebatsi some believe that Molebatsi will have no problem bringing home victory, some quarters are of the view that Matlou might just surprise the royal house by defeating their preferred candidate it the primaries. Mochudi East is one of the strong holds of opposition parties which might prove difficult for BDP to retain.

Davids won the constituency as a BNF candidate before defecting to the BDP last year. In the 2014 general elections Davids won with 6,824 votes compared to BDP’s Moruakgomo 5,941. The then incumbent, Isaac Mabiletsa of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) was voted by 4,528 people. Mabiletsa won the constituency at the 2009 general elections with the Botswana National Front (BNF) ticket, before defecting to the BCP. The tensions between Bakgatla and government escalated in 2012 with a number of criminal charges laid against Kgafela. He later on fled to South Africa and government took a decision to de-recognize him. 



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